50", 1080p viewing distance

Discussion in 'Displays' started by JamesMet, May 7, 2007.

  1. JamesMet

    JamesMet Auditioning

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    Hi all,

    I'm thinking about getting a 50" Sony SXRD (KDS-50A2000 or 2020) before the end of the year, here's what I gathered so far about the viewing distance for a 50" HDTV:

    - Recommended distance for 720p= around 10 feet
    - Recommended distance for 1080p= 6.5 feet

    Few questions:

    1- Is it worth it to buy a 1080p 50" TV ?, I've heard some people say that you can see the potential of 1080p when you go over 46", but others say it's over 55", so I'm a bit confused here and hope someone could clear this up.

    2- Will watching a RP 50" TV at 6.5' strain the eyes ? and how comfortable is it ? (I know this question depends on preference, but I really don't have much access to HDTVs, specially for 20+ more minutes, I just want to have a general idea about such viewing distance).

    3- How much of a difference does it make to watch 1080p media from about 8' or 9' instead of 6.5, will I still enjoy the full HD resolution ?

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. louky

    louky Auditioning

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    should i just quote my response from avs? lol
     
  3. JamesMet

    JamesMet Auditioning

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    Yeah I usually post on both forums to get as much opinions as possible, thanks for your reply there.
     
  4. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    At a distance of 1.5 screen widths ... your eyes can only see roughly 1.2 million pixels of information. (Slightly more than 720x1280)

    doesn't matter if there is 8 million pixels in the image ... you only see 1.2 million or so.

    If you want to see the full 1080p glory of the tV ... you have to be much closer to the set. Likely 1 screen width away.

    So at this 1.5 distance ... 720p displays start to look like 1080p displays.

    Regards
     
  5. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    You won't be able to really take advantage of 1080p at 8'-9'. However...

    At that distance, you're theoretically too close for 720p -- you may be able to perceive line structure and there is less detail than you can actually see. Depending on your visual acuity, YMMV.

    That's why you should still go for 1080p at that distance/size.
     
  6. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Just as an FYI -- you will probably have a lot more choices by the end of the year, so don't get too stuck on a particular brand, model or technology yet.
     
  7. JamesMet

    JamesMet Auditioning

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    Thanks for replying everyone,


    Yeah thought about that, so far my mind's set on the new A3000 series (I'll make sure to read enough reviews about it though before getting one), I'll see if anything else interests me by then.
     
  8. Randy123

    Randy123 Agent

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    I have a similar situation, but going with a 46" Sony. I'm debating on whether it's worth the extra money buy a 1080p for $1499 over a 720p which I can get at a clearance price of $999. My viewing distance is 9' & 12'. Will I be able to tell the difference with a set as small as a 46" at those distances? Thanks for any replies.
     
  9. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    As Michael stated at your viewing distance your eyes can't resolve the difference between 720p and 1080p, but resolution isn't the only factor in producing a quality picture. 720 sets are generally considered 2nd tier these days and generally are lacking in contrast ratio and features compared to 1080p models.

    Also keep in mind that that 720p set is lcd, which will have "screen door effect"--a fine mesh grid pattern on the screen, while the 1080p sxrd sets do not have this mesh pattern.
     
  10. Randy123

    Randy123 Agent

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    Isn't the screen door effect on LCD's only noticeable at closer distance, closer than you would normally watch it?

    So if I have a choice between LCD and SXBR LIcos I should go with LIcos?
     
  11. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    If you think you are sitting too far back, then don't get caught up in the 1080p derby.

    One might want to consider 1080p displays for reasons other than simply more pixels. Steve mentions correctly that the 1080p units may have other advances that can be seen at greater distances.

    Things like improved contrast ratios and less moire patterns could certainly be considerations. However ... just because a set is 1080p does not mean that it has better CR than a 768p type set. Panasonic plasmas for instance have better CR performance on their 768p sets versus their 1080p units.

    Regards
     
  12. Brian D H

    Brian D H Second Unit

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    I'll second Michael's comments and add the obvious suggestion:
    Go check it out in a store for yourself.

    I found a store that had the 50" set I was considering in both the 1080P and the 720P versions displayed right next to each other. Then I backed up the appropriate distance and made my own decision. To be honest I couldn't see much difference at 8 feet. At 10 feet I had to really strain to notice a difference and that was with them next to each other (YMMV). Remember that in your home there won't be any other displays to compare it to. Needless to say I opted to save $500.00 and bought the 720P.
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Bingo. [​IMG] The 1080p set has more pixels, which means more deadspace in between them. Therefore, the 768p set has more illuminated area. From memory, the current contrast ratio for the 768p displays is 33% higher than for the 1080p units. CR is a major component of video quality.

    Geoffrey Morrison of HT Mag says 1080p in a display 50" or smaller at 10ft or further away can't be differentiated from 768p either.
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I was also more concerned about total video image quality, than just 1080p vs. 768p (720p), so that's why I decided to go for the 50" 768p Panasonic plasma model from last year instead of waiting for the 1080p models that would cost $500-$1000 more for the comparable screen size.
    Here's my thread on my Panasonic plasma TH-50PX600U purchase 6 months ago. Plus I was viewing from about 9'-10' away, so I really couldn't resolve that much video image difference between the 1080p and 768p plasma models from that distance.

    Of course, you should go to the stores and look for yourself (measure out the typical viewing distance for your home situation, and then stare at the 1080p and 768p models and see if you can see much of a difference in not only resolution, but overall image quality (including contrast ratio).

    You'll get more visual benefit with a 1080p plasma set if the screen size is 58" or larger for typical viewing distances in homes.
     

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